The Young One

LetterboxD review link

I saw The Young One at BAM’s Southern Gothic series, which was programmed to coincide with the release of The Beguiled. This was my first Luis Buñuel film, and apparently his least inventive or artistically provocative film.

The provocation, though, comes through in story and character. The preacher, who ostensibly represents the North, is the moral core of the story. Although he talks a big talk, calling out Miller on his predation, racism and moral bankruptcy, there is hardly any follow through. Miller has something of a redemption near the end, at least with Traver, but he remains unpunished for what he did to Evvie.

The moral ambiguity is interesting, and perhaps most interesting given the historical context of when this film was released. But the ambiguity doesn’t feel thoughtful or deep, mostly uninterrogated instead.